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A breath of fresh air for Qatar’s FIFA World Cup

A breath of fresh air for Qatar’s FIFA World Cup A breath of fresh air for Qatar’s FIFA World Cup  A breath of fresh air for Qatar’s FIFA World Cup 

Arup Associates’ showcase stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup is the world’s most sustainable football arena. It runs on solar power while protecting spectators from the strong summer heat, and was even nominated for the 2012 WAN Awards.

Set to take place in 2022, Qatar’s first world football cup is a challenge in many respects. First, outside temperatures of over 50°C are unbearable even for the World’s football elite. Then, the country’s ambition to organize the greenest World Cup ever is a tall order in a region where water scarcity and the seemingly unavoidable use of air conditioned are likely to result in enormous carbon footprint.

But that was before Aarup Associates presented its 500-seat showcase stadium as part of the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid.  Acknowledged as the world’s most sustainable stadium, the masterpiece is a small version of Qatar’s future main stadium. It stands as proof that even the harshest summer climate cannot prevent Doha from hosting the event, and was even nominated for World Architecture News’ 2012 Engineering Award.

The 2022 Showcase consists of two semi-circular structures, one slightly smaller than the other, which can either provide a fully closed stadium or a semi-open structure. The smallest dome can indeed rotate underneath the largest one to allow for natural wind cooling. The roof is made up of hundreds of panels that can be adjusted to protect players and guests from strong winds or the sun.

The stadium uses state of the art climate control techniques and technology to deliver a carbon neutral venue. Alongside photovoltaic cells and solar collection to power the artificial climate control, the stadium uses the newly developed Ferrari Low Emission PVC fabric. Covered on one side with a low emission coating and coloured with an aluminium pigment, the fabric is designed to control solar gain and light transmission by reflecting the majority of solar rays away from the stadium.

Other features include cross breezes and under-seat cooling, which were preferred to blasting air conditioning throughout the stadium complex. Photovoltaic solar panels capture energy from the sun and store it on site when the arena is not being used, while biofuel provides for the additional energy usage when the stadium is in use.

Such innovative and sustainable design was paramount in the stadium’s adoption by Qatari authorities. Not only from an architectural point of view, but also for the message it delivers to the world.

Doha Showcase 2022 Stadium

Year of Completion: 
Main Contractor/Customer: 
ES Projects
Doha, Qatar
Market Sector: 
Sports and Leisure
Scope Of Works: 
Research and Development
Project Management
Fabric Type:
PVC - Fabric
Design Style:
Weather Protection